Even without a budget, Moody’s said Illinois' spending could reach new records by next summer.
Moody's Investors Service released a report this week indicating that Illinois' current spending rate has it on track to build up an unprecedented $14 billion in backlogged bills by the end of the current fiscal year, June 30, 2017. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability projects that the state will only bring in little more than $30.8 billion during fiscal 2017.
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The report said court-ordered spending and unchecked spending by lawmakers in Springfield have resulted in a spending increase of 12 percent -- all while incoming tax dollars remain stagnant.
Gov. Bruce Rauner said the state isn't operating under a budget, but rather lawmaker-appropriated and court-ordered spending to get through the November election. "It's not balanced," Rauner said. "The unpaid backlog of bills isn’t growing as fast as they would if we didn't have a stopgap, but they're still growing. This is not a long-term solution.”
Moody's said that while the state isn't currently borrowing to cover operational expenses, the growing backlog of bills could force it to do so. This is something that's seen as a sign of serious fiscal distress and would likely lead to more credit downgrades.
With more than $111 billion in unfunded liabilities, Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state.